Monthly Archives: December 2010

The front pages reviewed at midnight: Wednesday 15 December 2010

Is anyone else a little bored by the whole Julian Assange trial stuff? The guy is just the face of an organisation, not the organisation itself; if you shot Ronald McDonald a 16 year old would still flip your burgers. Well the Guardian aren’t bored yet as they lead with him. The Telegraph has a fascinating piece about savings levels, the Mail has an evocative if slightly tasteless piece about the Swedish suicide bomber and the Indy gets its first scoop for a few weeks.

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Twitter takes over the courts…

Today, in what is thought to be the first case of its kind, the judge in the Julian Assange case has said that journalists can tweet throughout the trial providing “it’s quiet and doesn’t disturb anything.” This case really is landmark in the future of journalism.

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The EU, the SNP and student fees – why is the Mail not having a field day?

Guest Blog by Alex Rowley
Reaction to the tuition fees debate has been in the papers a lot recently. The UK government voted in favour of raising the fees to a minimum of £6,000 and maximum of £9,000 in exceptional cases. In Wales it was confirmed that these rises would not be taking place, in Scotland it is under review but still free and Northern Ireland may follow the Welsh lead of keeping fees the same for those resident there.

The EU has not been in the news recently but to jog your memory, institutions must charge EU students the same as local students. So while those from Gretna are charged the same as those from Guttenberg for attending the University of Aberdeen, those from Berwick-upon-Tweed are not.

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A quick apology.

There will be no front pages review tonight I as have a severe case of man flu and looking at a screen hurts my head. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be feeling better and will be able to do it then.

Sorry guys

The front pages reviewed at midnight: Monday 13 December 2010

A very strong set of Monday front pages here, with the Telegraph and the Mail getting the undoubted splash story of the night, the Guardian having some interesting Wikileaks stuff and the Indy doing what it does best and going left field. Impressive Fleet Street…

The Independent – “$25bn of American aid and still Afghans are dying of starvation” Normally in the Independent anything to do with the Middle East or Afghanistan would be covered be the wonderful Robert Fisk but it is nice to see Patrick Cockburn getting a turn. In an attempt to influence, in however minuscule a way, President Obama’s address about the future of Afghanistan Cockburn has done a series of interviews with key figures in Afghan society about the endemic corruption and starvation that plagues the country. Only three paragraphs on the front page but he is a good writer and I am sure this will be well researched. Exactly the kind of stuff the Indy should be doing.

The Daily Mail – “Suicide bomber lived in Britain” The Mail and the Telegraph have the scoop of the night – the revelation that the alleged suicide bomber in Stockholm lived and became radicalised in the UK. The problem for both papers is that they have very little actual information beyond the fact that Taimour Abdulwahab Al-Abdaly lived in the UK, and that only really fills out about two paragraphs. The Telegraph (See below) does a better job of fleshing it out while the Mail resorts to telling us that Luton is the “long known as a hotbed for terrorism” and saying, but not substantiating, that Al-Abdaly’s wife has “fundamentalist views.” Weaker reporting than the Telegraph. Jan Moir’s column looks fun though – “Great fun, yes. But how depressing the X Factor final was so sleazy”, along with the accompanying picture of Christina Aguilera looking sleazy…

The Telegraph – “Sweden bomber was living in the UK” Unlike the Mail, the Telegraph have actually sent a reporter out of the office to speak to Al-Abdaly’s neighbours. Through this they have some interesting information – that his wife ran a home beauty company, that he had recently put up an internet advert for a second wife and that he had been living in the home until only two weeks ago. These little details flesh the story out better and give a better understanding of what has actually happened.

The Guardian – “MI5 offered to give up Ulster murder files” Wikileaks rumbles on for the Guardian, and today’s lead is an obscure but interesting one revolving around a murder that happened over 20 years ago. The Northern Irish civil rights lawyer Pat Finucan was shot in 1989 by Loyalist paramilitaries and the cables reveal that the MI5 offered to hand over files on the case to the Americans. The paper leads with the angle that it should force an independent inquiry but I think the more interesting thing is the fact that MI5 was prepared to give up sensitive files to the US in the first place.

The front pages reviewed at midnight: Friday 10 December 2010

Doing a similar thing tonight to what I did a few weeks back when the fees riots first broke – looking at the first line of each paper’s story.

Also a quick shout out to tonight’s man of the moment – Mutt Dunham of the Associated Press. His picture of Prince Charles and Camilla being attacked is on the front of three of the papers – the Guardian, the Times and the Telegraph.

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The front pages reviewed at midnight: Thursday 9 December 2010

It is not often I say this. All tonight’s papers have interesting, well-researched, innovative lead stories. Read them all…

 Wow. I feel confused.

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The Times abandons its own front page…

On Monday night I blogged that the Times’s story for Tuesday’s front page was a woeful rehash of a Telegraph story from last month. Either someone is reading this blog or someone else noticed because by the second edition they had changed the story on the front page, something you very rarely see in national papers.

The first edition led with “One dose of aspirin a day cuts cancer risk” but by the second edition that night they had changed to “Pullout of Helmand troops to start early”

The front pages reviewed at midnight: Wednesday 8 December 2010

A varied bunch tonight, with much more diversity than I expected. Gold star goes to the Times, while the dunce cap goes to the Guardian for having the most interesting story of the night and only putting it in the sidebar.

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The front pages reviewed at midnight: Tuesday 7 December 2010

A slow night for the ‘quality’ papers, with quality a little thin on the ground. The story most worth reading, however, is the Times’ attempt to lead with the exact same story that the Telegraph ran with over two weeks ago!

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